By Emma Goodey

When discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI) many of us think of futuristic Sci-Fi robots taking over. The popularity of Hollywood robot films and series like i-Robot, Westworld and Robocop make AI seem like pie in the sky to most of us; so it may come as a shock to learn that in fact, AI is already in the workplace and you are probably already using it without even realising. And it hasn’t taken over the world, stolen your job or tried to kill Will Smith.

If your workplace utilises Microsoft Office, you may have noticed AI features such as Cortana or MyAnalytics popping up in your diary to help boost your scheduling and productivity capabilities. Moreover, Microsoft packages have also introduced many AI features that you may not have noticed; including features such as intelligent spellchecking designed to operate more inclusively as an aid for people with dyslexia by assessing sentence grammar as a whole rather than in the context of individual words.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, the driving force we identified behind a huge increase in workplace technology has been the impact of Covid-19. Satya Nadell, CEO of Microsoft, estimates that “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”[1]. Perhaps the most unexpected advances have been in the use of AI to support employee’s mental health and wellbeing.

Robots aren’t typically perceived as warm and fuzzy, yet according to a survey conducted by Savanta, 68% would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about stress and anxiety at work. Furthermore, 82% of people believe robots can support their mental health better than humans.[2] So, what are the benefits of using AI to support mental health? According to ‘Back To Human’ author Dan Schawbel;

“The benefit of technology is that it’s available 24/7. It doesn’t judge you and doesn’t care about your race or class or gender. It gives you non-biased responses and helpful health information.” [3]

With this in mind, here are just a few of the major mental wellness tech companies using and developing AI to support mental health:

  • Oracle Cloud HCM Digital Assistant – offers automated chatbot services for employees to ask for help with anything from admin questions like when the office will re-open or mental health support
  • WellBot – an online platform that provides daily physical and mental health exercises, data and resources
  • Webot – an AI driven chatbot for talking about mental health
  • Headspace & Calm – both popular meditation apps
  • Talkspace & BetterHelp – online counselling providers

With AI being one of the fastest growing technologies of the moment, we are constantly finding new and surprising ways to integrate tech into the workplace. No matter your budget, using AI to support your staff’s wellbeing has never been easier or more accessible.

So, what are you waiting for? Time to find your staff’s new RBFF (that’s robot best friend forever)!

Get in Touch

If you’re looking to find out more about how we can support your software development team, ask Lydia what Goodman Masson can do for you:

Lydia Golds – Senior Manager
lydia.golds@goodmanmasson.com
0207 324 0561

Resources used:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/04/30/2-years-digital-transformation2-months/

https://www.oracle.com/human-capital-management/ai-at-work/

https://m.marketscreener.com/news/latest/Mental-health-in-the-workplace-saved-by-bots-and-apps–31890258/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-analytics/our-insights/global-survey-the-state-of-ai-in-2020#

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